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European Research Executive Agency
News article16 March 2023European Research Executive Agency

RFCS signs first “Big Tickets” grant agreements to support the European Green Deal and the Just Transition

The maximum EU contribution foreseen for the five new projects is EUR 35.4 million (EUR 24.7 million for steel and EUR 10.7 million for coal).

RFCS Big tickets 2023
© European Union, 2023

The coal projects funded under the Big Tickets call are expected to facilitate the transition of the European coal regions in order to achieve a carbon-neutral Europe by 2050 in line with the objectives of the Just Transition Mechanism.

The steel projects are expected to advance on decarbonising the steel production following the specific objectives of the European partnership on Clean Steel, and contributing to the goals of the European Green Deal.

The maximum EU contribution foreseen for the five new projects is EUR 35.4 million (EUR 24.7 million for steel and EUR 10.7 million for coal).

See below what the projects are expected to achieve:

New steel projects 

MODIPLANT: MODular hybrId technology in the Steel PLANT production. The main objective is to decarbonize the process of reheating furnaces, based on the introduction of hybrid heating technology, based on electrification and gas-burning properly combined. The envisaged solution provides an opportunity to explore the synergic effect of different technologies.

FULLH2REHEAT: Demonstrator of Industrial Transformation with Hydrogen for HAV long products rolling mills. The project will investigate at semi-industrial scale the impact of H2 combustion in Reheating Furnace (RF), especially in particular on the so-called soaking zone.

HYDREAMS: Clean Hydrogen and Digital tools for REheating And heat treatMent for Steel. The project will demonstrate an increase in combustion energy-efficiency by 10 to 47% with no loss in steel properties. The aim is to obtain investment decisions by the end of the project for industrial-scale deployment in 5 steel plants and commitments from 8 brand-owners to adopt green steel in their products.

TWINGHY:  Digital TWINs for Green HYdrogen transition in steel industry. The project will investigate an optimised heat transfer process based on hybrid burners in reheating furnaces, progressively decarbonising the reheating process through the increase of H2 in combination with O2 and by monitoring and controlling it through a digital twin.

New coal project

REM:  The Reduction of methane emissions from post mining goafs to minimise their inflow into VAM (Ventilation Air Methane) is a part of sustainable and intelligent mine Greenhouse Gases (GHG) management towards green deal economy, which is the key issue when minimizing costs of coal mines' liquidation process and mitigating Coal Mine Methane emissions to the atmosphere.

‘RFCS Big Tickets’ calls 

The ‘RFCS Big Tickets call for Coal’ and ‘RFCS Big Tickets call for Steel’2022 are part of the EU funding programme supporting research and demonstration projects in the coal and steel sectors. The RFCS supports research for breakthrough technologies leading to near-zero-carbon steelmaking and research projects for managing the just transition of formerly operating coal mines in the process of closure.

The 2022 “Big Tickets” calls for proposals opened on 22 June 2022. The European Research Executive Agency (REA) received 15 applications, 9 for steel and 6 proposals for coal by the cut-off date on 3 May 2022. 

The projects have been selected in a peer evaluation with the support of external experts. On 28 February 2023, the European Commission adopted the decision to award the grants and REA has signed the grants with the five selected projects.

Apply for funding

If you are planning a research project on low emission steelmaking or coal regions in transition, you can  apply via the funding and tenders portal.

The 2023 RFCS Big Tickets calls for coal and Big Tickets call for steel are currently open; the deadline to apply for EU funding is 4 May 2023 – 17:00:00 CET (Brussels).

Read more about the Research Fund for Coal and Steel.


Publication date
16 March 2023
European Research Executive Agency